Host an Easy Open House
Having that handful of folks in for an open house doesn’t have to be hard. Follow these few simple guidelines and your open house will seem as easy as opening your door and saying, “come in!”
Set a two- or three-hour window during the time of day you have in mind. A few options are brunch (10-12), mid-afternoon (2-4), cocktails (4-6), or dessert (7-9).
- Plan a menu of light fare that is delicious served at room temperature, so you can prepare and set out everything before guests arrive, and you won’t have to be in the kitchen the entire time your guests are there.
- If you are not into cooking yourself, catering some or all of your menu is a convenient option.
- Enlist the help of a friend, who will also attend your open house, to be your partner in party preparation and clean up.
- Serve one or two signature beverages. No need to put out a full bar.
- Use beautiful paper goods for easier cleanup.
- Include in your menu a “finisher.” This is a dessert type item that is not only delicious but also aids in “party progression” and closure.
- Have fun!
Here are a couple of sample menus to model your model after.
Plan a menu around one main selection, one side selection, and one “finisher,” as well as a couple of snack-type items placed around your entertaining area and two main beverages, one alcoholic if you choose, and one non-alcoholic. For example:
- Main item – Quiche Lorraine
- Side item – Fruit Salad
- Finisher – Lemon bars
- Snack 1 – A basket of fresh crudite and white bean dip
- Snack 2 – A bowl of mixed pecans and dried Cherries
- Beverage 1 – Mimosas or Bellinis
- Beverage 2 – Lemonade or fresh brewed iced tea
- Main item – Sliced steak on mini garlic toasts
- Side item – Parmigiano Reggiano shards drizzled with aged balsamic
- Finisher – Dark chocolate dipped orange slices
- Snack 1 – A platter of slow-roasted grape tomatoes and fennel
- Snack 2 – A bowl of wasabi peas
- Beverage 1 – Red and white wine
- Beverage 2 – Sparkling water and cranberry juice